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March 22, 2006

ILIR Action Alert 03/22/06

Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform
718 598 7530

Dear Friend of ILIR

First off, the good news; Senator John McCain is coming to the
Bronx on Friday March 31 to address an ILIR Town Hall Meeting.
We are expecting a (over)full house for this, so please make
sure you arrive early –

This week we need you to help us target Senator Frist. Even
though there is a vote scheduled for March 27, Senator Bill
Frist (R-TN), Senate Majority Leader, bypassed the Judiciary
Committee and introduced his own bill—a bill that does not
contain a path to legal residence and citizenship for the
undocumented. Let him know that Irish America supports
comprehensive immigration reform. We cannot let this go

Call Frist's Washington and Tennessee offices (D.C. 202-224-3344
Nashville, TN 615-352-9411) on Wednesday and Thursday with the
following message:

I OPPOSE Senator Frist's decision to bypass the Judiciary
Committee and put his own bill on the Senate floor!

I SUPPORT a comprehensive and humane solution to our broken
immigration system. REAL REFORM includes a path to citizenship
for the undocumented population, family reunification, and a new
worker program that provides strong worker protections and a
safe and secure way for workers to come to the U.S. in the

I SUPPORT giving the Judiciary Committee as much time as they
need to complete their work on this critical issue.

Also, the New American Opportunity Campaign has posted a
petition online at – Sign
on to help spread the word!

This week's action alert includes some news from Ireland which
many may find offensive (undocumented immigrants referred to as
Irish "rats"). We hope that you can take the time to send an
email to the respective publications.

Irish News on Undocumented in US

Emigrants' plight we'd gladly share (Eilis O'Hanlon, Sunday
Independent, Sunday March 19)

IMMIGRANTS. Dontcha just love 'em? They come over here and work
for a pittance, doing all the jobs we're too grand for these
days, ensuring in the process that the Celtic Tiger keeps
ticking over and that Ireland's a much more interesting, diverse
and cosmopolitan country than it's ever been before in its
history - and all they get in return is an earful of abuse and
the blame for everything from the recent riots in Dublin to our
appalling road safety statistics. Meanwhile, we're all supposed
to be getting sentimental about the "plight" of our own illegal
emigrants in the US.

This "plight", presumably, is that they've been living it up in
the world's most dynamic and successful economy for years while
paying no tax or national insurance, either in the country they
sneaked into or the one they buggered off from, and who now have
Irish politicians bending over backwards to help them out.
That's the kind of plight we could all do with sharing, lads.
Don't pay your Dirt tax in Ballydehob and you're a national
disgrace. Don't pay any tax in Boston and you're apparently a
national hero.

Irish illegals in America deserted the sinking mother ship when
times were hard, and now the vessel's afloat again the rats
expect us to help them out. And though Bertie has said he wants
no special deal for the Irish, there are mutterings from others
to say that if the current McCain/Kennedy bill fails then we
should try to do a deal for our own. And to hell with all the
poor Mexicans, Cubans, Chinese, Indians, Africans etc who need
much more of a helping hand than we do. Why should we be a
special case? Because we helped build the railroads?

Yeah, and we also helped build the Ku Klux Klan. You never hear
Irish politicians boasting about that at the White House on
Paddy's Day. What's hilarious is that the Irish illegals are now
under pressure because, post 9/11, Americans are more sensitive
about security and terrorism.

I bet some of those expats don't feel so blase now about all
those years they spent out there singing rebel songs and
drumming up support for the IRA while the rest of us back here
actually had to live with the consequences. Still, if they're
caught, I suppose they can always claim they were only
birdwatching, like the Colombia Three. (Ends)

To respond to this article, please put Eilis O’Hanlon in the
subject line and email

The best letters are those which point out the obvious errors;
such as the allegation that the undocumented do not pay taxes.
Please refrain from personal attacks as they are not helpful to
our purpose.

This nasty tone is not confined to the Sunday Independent,
similar opinions have recently been seen on the letters page of
the Irish Times:

Madam, - How utterly hypocritical of the Taoiseach to beg the US
government to turn a blind eye to illegal Irish immigrants in
America, given the frequency with which his own administration
deports illegal immigrants from this country (Opinion, March
16th). And how utterly embarrassing to have our Taoiseach going
cap in hand to a foreign government in such a manner. Has he no
pride? - Yours, etc,

Madam, - The Taoiseach's passionate advocacy of the illegal
Irish in the US would carry more weight if he had ever directed
such concern and compassion towards those in similar
circumstances in this country…Most have no contact whatever with
their families; they could teach the illegal Irish a lot about
"the pain of separation," referred to by Bertie Ahern.

Again, it would be very helpful if we could counteract this
negative publicity, so please send your emails to

Warm regards

The ILIR Campaign Desk


Kelly Fincham
Executive Director
Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform
718 598 7530


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